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A Path and a Practice: Using Lao Tzu's Tao Te Ching as a Guide to an Awakened Spiritual Life Paperback – December 20, 2004


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Frequently Bought Together

A Path and a Practice: Using Lao Tzu's Tao Te Ching as a Guide to an Awakened Spiritual Life + The Sage's Tao Te Ching: Ancient Advice for the Second Half of Life + The Parent's Tao Te Ching: Ancient Advice for Modern Parents
Price for all three: $34.44

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press (December 20, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1569243905
  • ISBN-13: 978-1569243909
  • Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 5.5 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #244,203 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"I give all my friends with children The Parent’s Tao Te Ching—a reminder of what matters when raising little ones." -- Oprah Winfrey

About the Author

WILLIAM MARTIN has been a student of the Tao for almost twenty years. A graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, and Western Theological Seminary, he is the author of The Parent’s Tao Te Ching, The Couple’s Tao Te Ching, and The Sage’s Tao Te Ching. Today he operates, with his wife, Nancy, the Still Point Center for the practice of Taoist/Zen meditation in Chico, California.

More About the Author

William Martin Bio.

The name given me is William Cecil Martin, Jr. Everyone calls me Bill. I am the spouse of Nancy, the father of Lara and John, and the grandfather of Jillian and Andrew. My primary on-line work is found at www.taoistliving.com - it is a journal of my essays, poetry, and lessons on the Tao.

I live in Chico, California where I write, teach, and paint. I am the author of several books on Taoist and Zen thought, including: The Parent's Tao Te Ching, The Couple's Tao Te Ching, The Sage's Tao Te Ching, A Path and a Practice, and The Tao of Forgiveness. You can purchase these books through Amazon or any local bookstore. My latest book is 30 Days of Tao - available in Kindle.

My professional history is varied. If my father were alive he would still be waiting for me to get a real job. He was delighted when I graduated from the University of California at Berkeley with a B.S. in Engineering. He never really got over it when I left my job as an Electronic Engineer and embarked on a path that led me to a M.Div. degree from Western Theological Seminary and a brief, uncomfortable, stint as a clergy. Then I entered private practice as a Marriage and Family Therapist and spent twelve years as a therapist while also teaching counseling at a Community College in Phoenix, Arizona.

In 1999, Nancy and I sold all of our furniture, packed our remaining possessions in a 5 ft. by 8 ft. U-Hall trailer, and moved to the Oregon coast. We spent a year living in a small apartment overlooking the ocean. Nancy worked at a small Inn in Newport and I wrote a book. We walked, talked, and thought about life. We felt the intensity of natural forces - wind, water, and forest. It was a transformative time.

In 2000, we moved to Chico and began a new life. We are delighted with every moment of it. Nancy is a professional bookbinder. She repairs and restores old books and hand-binds new ones. She is currently working on some special hand-bound editions of my Sage's Tao Te Ching. (www.nwbookbinding.com)

My teaching work is through individual email with a limited number of students from around the world. If you would like to contact me, please do so. wminchico@gmail.com or visit my website www.taoistliving.com

Blessings to you.

Bill

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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Wonderful interpretation of the Tao Te Ching!
Maureen Fallon-Cyr
It's full of gentle Taoist wisdom and lovely meditations, that you'll be touched by, in a way that will continue, long after you put this book down.
Albion Guppy
I highly recommend this book to anyone regardless of your beliefs religious or otherwise.
Johnnypotpie

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

39 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Peter M. Schogol on March 20, 2005
Format: Paperback
Bill Martin is a man of transparent spirituality which on his website he describes as "a blend of Taoist philosophy and Buddhist teachings." From reading A PATH AND A PRACTICE, however, it's clear he didn't just throw the TAO TE CHING and Bodhidharma into an Osterizer and hit start. Instead, Martin has heard the Tao and experienced Zen, integrated his insights and domesticated them for everyday readers.

Two things are immediately apparent upon reading A PATH AND A PRACTICE: it is not a facile self-help book, and nothing has been dumbed down for ease of digestion. The author treats his readers compassionately, simply, and with great patience, much as he must treat himself as he practices the joyful awareness of the ordinary.

I was skeptical at first when I found this book in my local megastore reckoning it was another lame entry into the "Tao of..." field. I soon realized that A PATH AND A PRACTICE was something quite different. After reading it through in its entirety I began it again, this time with the intent to hear, to practice, and to do. Even after the first reading something had already begun to change. I put away my various philosophy and theology books and stopped seeking for 'wisdom from above.' Instead, without any forethought, I began to recognize and experience the wisdom from within.

It doesn't take away one bit from the excellence of A PATH AND A PRACTICE to note that it is a reworking rather than a translation of the TAO TE CHING. The grace and flow Bill Martin brings to the text makes this a unique and uniquely profound meditation on being fully alive in the everyday.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Albion Guppy on July 8, 2005
Format: Paperback
I've met very few authors who's writing made me want to actually go to meet them, but after reading William Martin's 'A Path and a Practice', I've decided that I'd really love to sit down and speak my heart to Mr. Martin.

Although his translation of Laozi's 'Tao te Ching' is pretty far from the original Chinese that it was written in, the SPIRIT of 'the Old Master' prevades every page of this wonderful book.

It's the nearest thing that I can imagine to actually sitting down and learning from old Laozi himself.

And what's more, is that this treasure of a book is written by a man whose heart is wide open.

If you want to learn how to live Taoism in modern times, here in our hectic world, I strongly encourage you to read this book.

Every page of this awesome book is a meditation, and a chance to learn from a teacher who is living the Tao, and writing the Tao, as much as one can, for us to learn from.

This book is much like a deep conversation with a really good friend, who has insight into your own soul and spirit.

If you long to learn real philosophical Taoism, from someone who obvisously lives it out in his own life, I urge you to purchase this awesome book.

It's full of gentle Taoist wisdom and lovely meditations, that you'll be touched by, in a way that will continue, long after you put this book down.

And Mr. Martin, perchance you might read this review, I want to say thank you so much, for writing this heartfelt book.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Ms. Marty J. Ziemer on September 7, 2005
Format: Paperback
The Tao te Ching can be poetic or you can be challenged by William Martin to actually live a spiritual life. How does each of us learn to be compassionate, live only in today, allow life to unfold as it will anyway? These are the challenges of this book with a question for each chapter of the Tao in the back. Written to challenge any spiritual individual to live their belief, not just declare it.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on September 15, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Having read the English translation of the Tao Te Ching, I found that the author provides some interpretation and guidelines for applying the concepts. His interpretation and guidance are open-ended. I sense no dogma in his words! His words offer ideas to help the reader absorb & understand the Tao concepts. Yes, it is a guidebook. I have opted to get several other of Martin's work as a result. Those considering this book will be best served if they are open-minded and curious.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By S. C. Zeiler on December 25, 2007
Format: Paperback
This volume is a part of my pracitce on a daily basis. William Martin has taken the profound wisdom of the Tao and created a pathway to internalize the lessons "in the moment" with his insights and qustions to ponder. I highly resommend this book. I have given copies to my clients to help them deepen their own experience.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By JB on August 29, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A Path and a Practice is just that: "a" way rather than a prescription for "the" way to begin a spiritual journey. I've use it as a morning meditation for a year now. When a friend borrowed it, and kept it, I bought a second copy. The beautiful imagery in the poems remind me to look closely and pause with the beautiful moments in my own neighborhood. They're hidden in secret corners, waiting for those of us who slow down and are willing to see them. The meditations in this book taught me how to slow down and take in the richness this life holds for us. I recommend it for everyone even curious about finding their own way, their own spiritual journey.
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By brian c johnson on July 6, 2014
Format: Paperback
Pleased with purchase.
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William Martin's A Path and a Practice: Using Lao Tzu's Tao Te Ching as a guide is a wonderful spiritual guide to every dayday living. I have given it as a gift to many people over the years.
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